The Audi R8 LMS is light on its tires,
meaning it can be driven hard for an
entire one-hour World Challenge race.
the driver’s view
began racing SCCA
Showroom Stock B
in 1994 and made
his World Challenge
debut the same year.
in BMWs for several
raced a GT class
Porsche for the first
time in 2005. He
earned his first World
Challenge race win in
’08 and, the following
year, finished second
overall in GT points,
with two victories.
Being a mid-engined car, the Audi R8 is
very balanced and very easy on tires. It
doesn’t have raw power like, for example,
the Cadillacs or the turbocharged Volvos
we’re competing against in Pirelli World
Challenge; it’s one of the slowest cars
down the straight, but where it’s really
fun to drive and where it excels is in
rolling speed through a corner.
We can carry a lot of speed on turn-in
and maintain that through a corner,
whereas the Porsche I raced previously
required you to be really aggressive in
and out of a corner to make speed.
The R8 rewards a smoothness in its
cornering, and that was kind of a
revelation for me after all those years of
driving a rear-engined Porsche. I’ve got to
say that the R8’s a joy to drive.
And the Pirelli P Zero tires are really
grippy. With this car, it means you can
drive them really hard throughout the
entire race without seeing the drop-off
that other cars tend to have because
they aren’t as well balanced as the Audi.
That means when it comes to race
strategy, we need to get ahead of the
other cars early and push hard to make
them try to keep up with us and use up
their tires. The downside is that the Pirelli
World Challenge races are just under an
hour, so we don’t have enough time to
exploit all of that tire-life advantage.
“where the r8 is really fun to
drive and where it excels is in
rolling speed through a corner”
There are finite things to change with
the R8, which our customers really like.
[Typically, GMG will field three or four
identical R8s, including the Sofronas car,
at each PWC round] They know that if I’m
on the pole, it’s not because of trick parts
on my car. All the cars we run are equal,
and all of our info is shared. The Audi is
friendly to drive at the limit and they
know they don’t have to sink a ton of
money into their car to be competitive.
I think that’s very appealing for any driver.
Stripped and largely stock is the best way
to describe the PWC-spec R8 LMS’s cockpit.
The driver’s seat bolts into the production
location. The tilt steering column is
production, as are the clutch and throttle
pedals. The analog dash is removed in favor
of a Bosch TDU- 8 data system, but it’s
surrounded by driver cooling vents from
a production Audi R8.